Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘Defense Base Act Lawyers’

Wade Dill AIG/KBR PTSD DBA Casualty July 16th, 2006

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 15, 2012

After many years of surviving an extremely abusive and Overly Zealous Defense

Wade Dill’s  family was finally provided death benefits under the Defense Base Act

These benefits were recently taken away by the Benefits Review Board when Attorney Bruce Nicholson, who was actively pursuing a settlement with KBR/AIG’s Attorney Michael Thomas, had a contract with the widow, was an attorney with the Law Firm of Peyman Rahnama, was the attorney of record with the BRB, did not as much as respond to the Appeal.

While Bruce Nicholson is the one who apparently purposely abandoned the claim, Michael Thomas and the BRB were more than happy to carry on without notifying the widow that AIG’s appeal of her claim was unopposed.

The man I married was my prince charming.
We had grown up together.
High school sweethearts, we were married 17 ½ years.
I believe that if he had never gone over there he would still be
here today.
Something happened in Iraq.
He committed suicide the morning of July 16th, 2006
He left behind a lot of pain and two ruined lives.
I never dreamed I would be without him
and
my daughter without a father.

Our thoughts are with you today Barb

Posted in PTSD and TBI, AIG and CNA, KBR, Misjudgements, Department of Labor, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Racketeering, T Christian Miller, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, War Hazards Act, Iraq, Dropping the DBA Ball, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Lawyers, AWOL Medical Records, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Veterans, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Defense Base Act Attorneys: Attorney’s Fees

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 21, 2012

The Defense Base Act provides for claimants fees to be paid by the Insurance Company.

See Who Pays your Defense Base Act Attorney Fees ?

Why then would Defense Base Act Attorneys either charge their DBA clients on a contingency basis, by the hour, or take their fees out of a settlement amount ?

And why would you let them?

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

All’s Fair in Love and AIG WAR? No Ethics ?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 14, 2012

Defense Base Act Claimants really are in another War Zone when they must file a DBA Claim.

As it turns out many, too many, of the Plaintiff’s own Attorneys are aiding and abetting the enemy

Last January ALJ  Berlin awarded the Dill Widow DBA Death Benefits in a very important PTSD/Suicide Claim.

This claim was denied for five years while Wade Dill’s  widow Barbara’s integrity was brutally attacked as though she had pulled the trigger herself.

KBR refused to supply Wade Dill’s medical records and other reports which would have exposed the state of mind he was in while still in Iraq.  But it is OK to defy discovery if you are AIG/KBR-SEII.  Do not try this yourself, you’ll lose your claim.

Dennis Nalick was the Attorney who brought this claim to a successful decision. 

Barbara Dill’s next Attorney, Bruce H Nicholson, refused to address misinformation in the records saying “you won the claim why would you want to mess with it”.

Mr Nicholson refuted any suggestion that this very important decision would be appealed.  He went so far as to tell the Widow that she should discontinue corresponding with those who assured her it would be.  Bad people we are, just trying to upset her needlessly.

AIG KBR SEII via Michael Thomas appealed the decision.

Mr Nicholson never responded to the Benefits Review Board on behalf of the Widow though he assured her he was on top of it and he and the widow corresponded regularly.

On February 28 the BRB overturned the ALJ’s decision, unopposed.  The widow was not represented at all.

Mr. Nicholson was though, prior to this decision, negotiating a “settlement” with Michael Thomas and AIG which would take this important PTSD Suicide decision out of this WAR as case law for all impending and future PTSD Suicide claims.  The same Mr Nicholson who posted here at the blog in response to the award:

“The decision represents a sound road map for work related contractor suicide claims and is unlikely to be overturned when followed.”

We ask, is no one in this wretched biased system held to any standard of ethical practice?

Mr Nicholson was responsible for representing the Widow and he did not.

Would it not have been a requirement of those who were involved in this to make the widow aware, to speak up?

We do not kid ourselves that this was simply a case of friendly fire.  There was too much at stake here.

Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Defense Medical Examinations, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Iraq, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Defense Base Act Attorney Alert

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 2, 2012

At the risk of sounding repetitive:

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is not returning your calls and emails

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is not sending you copies of correspondence and actions on your claim

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer refuses to send evidence to the DoL Claims Examiner when asked to do so

It is NEVER a good thing when you never receive copies of actions on your claim from the DoL

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is, or ever was, Bruce Nicholson, or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer was Dennis Nalick and you left your file with Matthew Singer or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is one of the sign em and stack em high volume, low results, insurance company favorites or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer does not have malpractice insurance (it is not required to handle DBA claims)……

Remember that it is you and your families future at stake and stay on top of your claim

Because these DBA Attorneys/Lawyers are capable of saving the insurance companies millions of dollars on the backs of widows and disabled contractors

YOU must do this for yourself and do it when you first begin to have doubts

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Defense Base Act Attorney is not responding to my calls or emails

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 27, 2011

AWOL DBA Attorneys

This is a complaint we hear everyday from Injured Contractors.

There are different reasons why this may be happening to you but trust that none of them are good.

Do not wait to hear from an ALJ or the DoL that your claim has been lost or severely damaged due to missing a deadline or not having been filed properly.

If your DBA lawyer is not responsive to your questions and not keeping you updated on the status of your claim you need to contact the Department of Labor yourself to check up on the status of your claim.

Always be certain that the DoL has a current, accurate, address for you so that you will receive copies of all actions being taken on your claim by both sides.  If you do not understand what the paperwork you receive means you need to find out right away.     Often there are 10 day deadlines for responding that must be met.

Always stay on top of your DBA Claim yourself, always.

Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, OALJ | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

War Hazards Act pays Insurance Companies more for expenses than to Claimants for compensation

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 9, 2011

“Over the past six years  (does  not include 2010) under the WHCA,
the federal government has paid more in reimbursements to insurers for expenses
$19.7 million
than it has paid in compensation to claimants
$12.1 million”
There is evidence that the current process, in which the federal government identifies WHCA claims after they have been paid as DBA claims and then reimburses insurers for claim and administrative costs, results in the federal government paying significant amounts that do not go directly to claimants.
Over the past six years under the WHCA, the federal government has paid more in reimbursements to insurers for expenses ($19.7 million) than it has paid in compensation
to claimants ($12.1 million).
There is also evidence, including testimony provided by DBA and WHCA claimants at a 2009 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, that in some cases, claimants with injuries that clearly fall under the statutory requirements of the WHCA must first navigate procedural and other requirements of their contractors’ DBA insurers before their cases are eventually transferred to DOL.
In some cases, DBA insurers controvert claims or oppose specific benefits for claims that are likely to end up at the DOL under the WHCA. Under the current system, insurers have the right and responsibility to investigate all claims and controvert or oppose claims and benefits they feel are not their responsibility or that fall outside of the DBA.
However, this can cause delays for claimants, including claimants with clear WHCA cases that will eventually be paid by the DOL.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, DBA Attorneys Fees, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Who Pays Your Defense Base Act Attorneys Fees ?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 15, 2011

Alert:  We have received a report that a DBA Attorney is taking part of a claimants compensation checks.  This is  very low tactic and we hope this attorney is soon exposed.

When a Defense Base Act Attorney or Law Firm advertises “no money upfront, or no fees upfront”, or that all fees must be approved, or that their fee is contingent, it means that they plan to have you pay their fees out whatever lost wages or medical you may be awarded.  Never ever hire one of these lawyers who would take  money from you when the insurance company is supposed to pay.  Ask them how this benefits them because it sure as hell does not benefit you !!

“The way the Defense Base Act is set up in terms of attorneys fees (no up front attorney fee is required, all lawyer fees must be approved and an attorney fee is contingent and will only be owed if we are able to collect funds for you”  Clever, how would you know they mean that YOU will be owing these fees

The Defense Base Act provides for your attorney fees to be paid for by the Insurance Company.

9th Circuit Court Upholds LHWCA/DBA Attorney’s fees

In disputed claims, the attorney fee frequently is assessed against the employer and is paid in addition to compensation

You would probably not be at this blog  nor would you need an attorney if your claim were not disputed.

Your DBA Attorney is required  to keep track of their hours and expenses (receipts) for the duration of the legal process and turn them in to the ALJ or DD for approval and subsequent payment by the DBA Insurance Company when they have in fact succeeded in securing an award in your favor.

It is not illegal for a Defense Base Act Attorney to charge Injured Contractors and Widows these fees.

The fees do have to be approved by an ALJ or DD and we do not know why an ALJ or DD would allow this.

But it might just be illegal for a Defense Base Act Attorney to have Injured Contractors and Widows sign on to pay as much 40%  without ever disclosing to them that they are not required to do so under the Act.

We’d love to hear what excuses these attorneys are using to bleed more money out of the Injured Contractors and Widows, many of them foreign and more susceptible to this treatment.

Please let us know in the comment section below if you have been asked to pay your attorneys legal  fees.

From the Longshore Manual

Fee When Carrier Declines to Pay Compensation. Under section 28(a), if an EC does not pay any compensation within thirty days after receiving written notification of a claim being filed, and the case is later settled at the informal level in favor of the claimant, the DD/CE must assess the fee for an attorney against the EC

Fee Where Voluntary Payment Made, But Controversy Arises Over Amount of Additional Compensation.

  1. If the EC voluntarily pays compensation without an award and a controversy develops over the amount of additional compensation (if any) to which the claimant may be entitled, the DD/CE shall, within ten days of knowledge of the controversy, set the case for an informal conference. Either at the conference or afterwards, the DD/CE is to recommend in writing the disposition of the matter. If the claimant has utilized the services of an attorney during this period to obtain additional compensation, any additional legal fee (based on efforts to obtain additional compensation) is to be assessed against the EC.

Continue reading here to learn why your informal conference is so important to you which we will soon post on.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

Why Thar’s Gold in Them Injured Contractor’s DBA Claims

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 29, 2011

Or So You’d Think……..

Seems like just yesterday one  Houston Attorney was bragging to the media

that he was one of only a few attorneys across the country who even handled

Defense Base Act Claims

-for better or worse-

For too many of  us here it proved to be for worse

As of late there are a rash of new websites up for Attorneys

who want to represent you in your DBA claim

In the words of one Attorney

“there is so much money, just there for the taking”

He was not referring to the claimants award

We welcome new untainted blood to the DBA Attorney gene pool

We are pleased to have more attorneys advocating for the injured contractor

when indeed that is their intention

But please do not do further harm to the injured and widowed by taking on claims

you are ill prepared or inclined to put up a tenacious and timely fight for

To those of you who know the law and will advocate for the claimant

Welcome to the Wild Wild West

but it’s no gold mine

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why does the question of whether DBA attorneys take kickbacks come up so often?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 15, 2010

We’ll start this with our disclaimer:

We do not know if any Defense Base Act Plaintiff’s  attorneys  take financial kickbacks or any other possible kickback  from DBA insurance companies.  We just see the question come up often.

These are our own plaintiff’s attorneys that this question is being asked about.

Financial reward is likely the driving force behind the DBA insurance company defense attorney, though we suspect it is more a sport for a few of them.

But offering, or taking, a bribe to throw an injured contractor’s claim at a hearing or talk him into taking a much smaller settlement than he is entitled too,  would have disastrous legal implications for any attorney who were caught.  The insurance company would probably not miss a profit.

Never the less, this question remains a very hot topic.  One that many would be compelled to ask when researching the outcomes of claims of Injured War Zone Contractors and the Death Benefit Claims of those who did not survive.

If not for financial reward then what would drive an Attorney/Lawyer  to allow an insurance company to deny benefits to clearly maimed and/or mentally disabled persons without putting up the best fight possible utilizing every resource available to them?

The Reasonable costs of representing a claimant must also be paid by the insurance company and it is not the Insurance companies’ attorney who decides what legal costs will be paid, it is the Judge.

The lack of effort and resources put into most DBA Claimants cases saves the insurance companies billions of dollars without ever an outright exchange of dirty money necessary.

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, Misjudgements, Political Watch, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Danger: Never attend an Insurance Company Second Opinion Unarmed

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 27, 2010

Never attend any medical or psychiatric evaluation on behalf of the DBA insurance company without your lawyer or an advocate that your attorney provides and

Never attend one of these without a videographer.

NEVER

The Insurance Company may have you see a doctor of their choice for a second opinion.  While you must attend these you are afforded many rights under the DBA that are being ignored at your expense by YOUR attorneys, the DoL, and the ALJ”s.   Ask your attorney what your rights are.

This is especially important if you are a TBI or PTSD patient.  You will need an advocate with you at all times who is able to protect you from inappropriate questioning and intimidation tactics.

You are required to attend, you must cooperate within the “scope and purpose” of the examination as it relates to the aspect of your claim you are being examined for.

Your lawyer, your advocate, and your video of the examination are your only defense against manipulative and deceitful Doctors who are paid by insurance companies to help deny your claim.

Shame on you DBA attorneys who send your unsuspecting clients into these ambushes blind, far from their geographic area, without the scope and purpose of the examination clearly defined, on short notice and without even checking the credentials and backgrounds of these insurance company whores.

And even more worrisome are the ALJ’s who set aside the rights afforded the claimant under the very rules and regulations used to set up these deceitful exams on behalf of the insurance company.

Never attend an Insurance Company Second Opinion Unarmed

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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